Sir Alex Ferguson hails Manchester United's Wes Brown as the country's best defender

Sir Alex Ferguson has sensationally claimed Manchester United player Wes Brown is the best natural defender in England.

Brown has endured catalogue of injuries during his career, including cruciate operations on both knees, a broken ankle and a succession of muscular problems, the latest of which effectively ruled him out of the whole of last season.

However, with Rio Ferdinand missing due to a long-standing back complaint and both John O'Shea and Jonny Evans sidelined after picking up injuries on international duty earlier this month, Brown has strung together a series of solid performances for club and country, leading to praise from his manager.

Besiktas' Deivson Bobo (left) and Manchester United's Wes Brown

Natural: Brown (right), with Besiktas' Deivson Bobo, has impressed for club and country this month

'When Wes Brown is fit, he is the best natural defender in the country,' said Ferguson. 'He has done well to deal with all the things he has had to deal with and still come out fighting.

'I keep thinking he is only 22 or 23 but we were doing a summary of our players' ages and contracts the other day and I saw Wes is 30.

'But he has such a young approach to life which you have to pay tribute to the lad for.

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United looks on in front of Wes Brown

Praise: Ferguson (left) claims Brown is England's most natural defender

'Players need a run of games to achieve consistency and get the timing and tempo of their game correct.

'We are seeing that at the moment. Now he is fit again and looking fantastic, he gets better all the time. Long may it continue.'

Meanwhile, Ferguson confirmed within his assessment of individual player contracts, it had been established Vidic's does not run out until 2012.

However, given the Serbian's stated desire to remain at Old Trafford despite constant speculation about his future, it is a situation that will be looked at.

'Nemanja's contract runs until 2012, which is a good bit away but the time will always come when good players' contracts come under review,' added Ferguson

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